23 April 2008

Five Golden Hemorrhoids

My last post listed the top ten biblical plagues, one of which involved five golden hemorrhoids. Since that probably bothered a lot of you, I thought I'd tell more about it.

It all started when the Philistines stole the ark of the covenant from the Israelites and brought it to the city of Ashdod. They put the ark in the temple next to their god, Dagon. The next day they found Dagon face-down on the floor. So they put Dagon back up again, but they found him on the floor again the next day with his hands and head cut off. The Bible tells us (1 Samuel 5:5) that no one ever went into that temple again.

But God was just messing around with Dagon. Next he gets down to serious business by striking the people of Ashdod with emerods (hemorrhoids).

But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods. 1 Samuel 5:6

The people of Ashdod figure it's the God of the Israelites that is smiting them with hemorrhoids (who else would do something like that?), so they try to get rid of the damn ark, since God seems so pissed off about it. So they send it to the city of Gath, which didn't work out too well for the Gathites.

The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 1 Samuel 5:9

And the Gathites packed up the ark and sent it to the next city, Ekron, with much the same result.

There was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 1 Samuel 5:11-12

Finally, the Philistines ask their priests if they have any ideas. The priests tell them to make five golden hemorrhoids and five golden mice as a trespass offering, put the ark and the trespass offerings in a cart pulled by two cows. Then let the cows go wherever they choose. If they go toward Bethshemesh, then it is God who was striking the people with hemorrhoids in their secret parts.

Since that sounded like such a reasonable plan, that's what they did. And the cows headed straight for Bethshemesh "and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." So the world now knows for sure that it was God who had killed the Philistines by putting hemorrhoids in their secret parts.

That would have been a happy ending, I suppose, except some of the Bethshemeshites looked into the ark. So God had to kill 50,070 of them. (A God's gotta do what a God's gotta do.)

And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 1 Samuel 6:19

Stories like this can only be found in the Bible.

22 April 2008

The Top Ten Biblical Plagues

I recently listed the top ten biblical massacres and the ten plagues of Egypt. And although the Egyptian plagues are by far the best known, there are just a sample of the plagues sent by God in the Bible.

Here is my top ten list of plagues. (See here for a more complete list.)

  1. When traveling through Egypt, Abram worried that the Pharaoh couldn't resist hitting on his 70 year old wife, Sarai. So he told Sarai to say she is his sister. Then when the Pharaoh believed the lie and took Sarai into his harem, God sent a plague on the Pharaoh and his household.
    And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. Genesis 12:17

  2. God kills all Egyptian firstborn humans and animals.
    At midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. ... and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Exodus 12:29-30

  3. God tells the sons of Levi (Moses, Aaron, and the other members of their tribe that were "on the Lord's side") to kill their family and friends for dancing naked around Aaron's golden calf. "And there fell of the people that day about 3000 men."
    Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men ... And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made. Exodus 32:27-35

  4. When the Israelites complained about the lack of food during the Exodus, God sent them quails to eat until it came out their noses. And then, to punish them for whining, "while the flesh was still between their teeth, the Lord smote the people with a very great plague."
    Ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? ... Therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you. ... And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. ... And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. Numbers 11:18-33

  5. For complaining (again) about the lack of food and water, God sent "fiery serpents" to bite his chosen people, and many of them died.
    And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Numbers 21:5-6

  6. After God killed Korah, his family, and 250 innocent bystanders, the people complained saying, "ye have killed the people of the Lord." So God, who doesn't take kindly to criticism, sent a plague that killed another 14,700.
    All the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. ... And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces ... for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun ... Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. Numbers 16:41-50

  7. God sent a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites for "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab." (The plague was finally stopped when Phinehas speared an Israelite man and his Moabite companion through their bellies.)
    And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab ... and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses ... And when Phinehas, ... saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand ... and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. Numbers 25:1-9

  8. God killed 50,070 men for looking into the ark. (This was after the Philistines gave God five golden hemorrhoids as a trespass offering. See also Plague #10 below.)
    And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD ... And the golden mice ... And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 1 Samuel 6:17-19

  9. God offers David a choice of punishments for having conducted a census (that either God or Satan requested): seven (or three) years of famine, three months fleeing from enemies, or three days of pestilence. David can't decide, so God chooses for him and sends a pestilence, killing 70,000 men (and maybe 200,000 women and children).
    And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah ... And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king ... And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people ... So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? ... So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 2 Samuel 24:1-13

  10. God smites the people of Ashdod with hemorrhoids "in their secret parts."
    The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts ... And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven. 1 Samuel 5:9-12

Number 10 is my favorite. Which is yours?

21 April 2008

Angel sex, giants, and and an 8-fold reduction in the human life span (all in four verses)

Don't you just love how action-packed the Bible is? I do.

Take Genesis 6:1-4, for example. Here are the first two verses:

And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. Genesis 6:1-2

How's that for a great story, eh? The sons of God had sex with the daughters of men.

But who were the sons of God, you ask?

Well, it beats the hell out of me. Christians often call Jesus the son of God, but he wouldn't have been one of the guys having sex here, would he? I doubt it. It was probably a bunch of perverted angels. At least that's what most believers seem to think.

Okay, so angels came down and had sex with women. Why would that matter to anyone?

Because that is why God decided to reduce the human lifespan from 900+ to 120 years. The reason no one is older than Edna Parker (who turned 115 yesterday), is that those damned angels had sex with women. At least that's what God seems to say in the very next verse:

And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3

So God reduced the human life span by a factor of 8 because angels had sex with women. (Or because all men are flesh. But that doesn't seem likely -- even for a half-crazed God.)

Oh, there are a couple other things to tell you about: giants and "men of renown". Here's what the Bible has to say.

There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. Genesis 6:4

I don't know whether the "mighty men of renown" were giants or what. But I just thought I'd throw that in, since it was just thrown into the Bible.

I've Converted To EVERY Religion (Just In Case)

via Cynical-C

20 April 2008

Happy Birthday Edna (You're still a youngster by biblical standards)

Edna Parker turns 115 today. She is the oldest person alive today, and only 7 and a half years short of the longest confirmed human lifespan. Happy Birthday, Edna. I hope you break all the records!

Yet Edna Parker is just a youngster by biblical standards. Here's a list of bible characters with life spans longer than Edna's.

  1. 120 Moses

  2. 127 Sarah

  3. 133 Kohath

  4. 137 Levi

  5. 137 Amram

  6. 137 Ishmael

  7. 140 Job

  8. 147 Jacob

  9. 148 Nahor

  10. 175 Abraham

  11. 180 Isaac

  12. 205 Terah

  13. 229 Serug

  14. 239 Peleg

  15. 239 Reu

  16. 365 Enoch

  17. 433 Salah

  18. 438 Arphaxad

  19. 464 Eber

  20. 600 Shem

  21. 777 Lamech

  22. 895 Mahalaleel

  23. 905 Enos

  24. 910 Cainan

  25. 912 Seth

  26. 930 Adam

  27. 950 Noah

  28. 962 Jared

  29. 969 Methuselah

It seems strange that the biblical list includes only one woman (Sarah), since women tend to live longer than men. But women in the Bible are lucky to have names, so it's not surprising that God didn't keep track of their life spans.

The Bible doesn't say why people (well, men anyway) lived so long long ago, or why life spans have decreased so rapidly since then. But I suppose it must be that they had a better health care system back then.

16 April 2008

The Top Ten Biblical Massacres

And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him ... and he [Samson] found a new jawbone of an ass ... and slew a thousand men therewith. Judges 15:14-15
Today is the sad anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. On 16 April 2007, 32 students were killed and many more wounded before the shooter, Sueng-Hui Cho, committed suicide.

The massacre was one of the worst in U.S. history, but it was small indeed by biblical standards.

Here is a list of massacres from the Bible, in ascending order by the number of victims. The list includes only those with a single killer where the number of victims is specified.

  1. Elisha (with help from God) sent two bears to kill 42 children for making fun of his bald head. 2 Kings 2:22-23

  2. Abimelech killed 69 of his brothers on a stone. Judges 9:5, BT

  3. Doeg the Edomite killed 85 priests and all the men, women, children, infants, oxen, donkeys, and sheep with a sword. 1 Samuel 22:18-19, BT

  4. Elijah (and God) burned to death 102 men. 2 Kings 1:10-12

  5. David killed 200 Philistines to purchase his first wife with their foreskins. 1 Samuel 18:25-27, BT

  6. Abishai killed 300 men with a spear. 2 Samuel 23:18, 1 Chronicles 11:20, BT

  7. The chief of David's captains killed either 300 (1 Chronicles 11:11) or 800 (2 Samuel 23:8) men with a spear. (Sometimes it's hard to correctly count the number of dead bodies in a massacre.)

  8. Elijah killed 450 religious leaders in a prayer contest. 1 Kings 18:22-40
    (The total in this massacre may have been 850 if it included the priests of the groves.)

  9. Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. Judges 3:31, BT

  10. Samson killed 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass. Judges 15: 14-15, BT

Update 1: Forgot the 85 priests that that were killed by Doeg the Edomite. (Thanks Aquaria.)

Update 2: Corrected the confusion between Elijah's massacres. (Thanks David.)

09 April 2008

Expelled Exposed!

Visit the National Center for Science Education's new website (ExpelledExposed.com) for updates on Ben Stein's latest fiasco.

08 April 2008

America's favorite book

According to a new Harris poll, America's favorite book is a book most Americans have never read -- the Bible.

Richard Dawkins once famously said that "if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that)." The same could be said about someone whose favorite book is the Bible.

Of course most people who that say about the Bible have never read it and are therefore ignorant of its contents. But anyone who has actually read the Bible and still considers it her favorite would fall into one of Dawkins' other categories: stupid (consider the absurdities), insane (Have you read Revelation lately?) or wicked (approving of 1 Samuel 15:2-3 among hundreds of other cruelties).

It's time to stop pretending that the Bible is a good book. It isn't. (Except for Ecclesiastes.)

If those of us who have read the Bible stop calling it good, maybe ignorant people who have never read it will stop believing it to be good (their favorite book, even), leaving the Bible to those who could honestly call it their favorite book: the stupid, the insane, and the wicked.

04 April 2008

'Expelled!' -- and soon to be swimming in a lake of fire

You have to feel sorry for the makers of the 'Expelled!' movie.

First they expel PZ Myers from the 'Expelled' move (while letting Richard Dawkins in), and now they lie about their carefully screened pre-screenings.

Next thing they know they'll be swimming in the lake of fire right along with the unbelievers.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. Revelation 21:8

(Is the devil pointing at Ben Stein?)

02 April 2008

The worst beasts in Allah's sight

The Quran (24:45) says that all animals were created by Allah. But not all animals were created equal.

Take apes, pigs, and dogs, for example. Here's what the Quran says about them.

And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated! 2:65

(Worse is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen and of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine. 5:60

So when they took pride in that which they had been forbidden, We said unto them: Be ye apes despised and loathed! 7:166

Therefor his likeness is as the likeness of a dog: if thou attackest him he panteth with his tongue out, and if thou leavest him he panteth with his tongue out. Such is the likeness of the people who deny Our revelations. 7:176

But there are some things that Allah likes even less than apes, pigs, and dogs.

Lo! the worst of beasts in Allah's sight are the deaf, the dumb, who have no sense [Non-muslims]. 8:22

Lo! the worst of beasts in Allah's sight are the ungrateful who will not believe. 8:55

Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. 98:6

So there you have it. Non-muslims are "the worst beasts in Allah's sight."

Now that you know who (and what) you are, why not join with the Sons (and Daughters) of Apes and Pigs?

01 April 2008

How could anyone be a Lutheran?

Okay, I admit it. I don't know how any sane, honest, moral person could believe in the Bible, Quran, or Book of Mormon.

But I am even more surprised that anyone could be a Lutheran.

Here's what Martin Luther wrote in On the Jews and their lies:

It serves them [the Jews] right that, rejecting the truth of God, they have to believe instead such abominable, stupid, inane lies, and that instead of the beautiful face of the divine word, they have to look into the devil's black, dark, lying behind, and worship his stench.


Now let me commend these Jews sincerely to whoever feels the desire to shelter and feed them, to honor them, to be fleeced, robbed, plundered, defamed, vilified, and cursed by them, and to suffer every evil at their hands -- these venomous serpents and devil's children, who are the most vehement enemies of Christ our Lord and of us all. And if that is not enough, let him stuff them into his mouth, or crawl into their behind and worship this holy object. ... Then he will be a perfect Christian, filled with works of mercy for which Christ will reward him on the day of judgment, together with the Jews in the eternal fire of hell!


There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses, namely, that God has struck them with "madness and blindness and confusion of mind." So we are even at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them.

Is there a Lutheran out there who can explain it to me?